NVIDIA 396.18.02 Vulkan Linux Beta Brings Better Shader Performance
Written by Michael Larabel in NVIDIA on 17 April 2018 at 05:47 PM EDT. 6 Comments
NVIDIA --
Last week NVIDIA released their first 396 Linux driver beta that most notably introduces their new "NVVM" Vulkan SPIR-V compiler. Coming out today is a new Vulkan beta update with some continued enhancements.

The NVIDIA 396.18.02 Linux driver released today isn't through their normal beta channel but rather through the Vulkan-focused Windows/Linux betas offered to developers.

The NVIDIA 396.18.02 driver has shader performance improvements, which look like it will help out DXVK for Direct3D-over-Vulkan Wine gaming and other scenarios.

This driver also updates the resource limits on uniform buffers, samplers, sampled images, and storage buffers per stage values. This is thanks to their new NVVM compiler stack now supporting spilling and the like rather than just relying upon direct hardware limits.

Lastly, this driver also adds support for the VK_EXT_descriptor_indexing extension introduced earlier this month in Vulkan 1.1.72. The descriptor indexing support should be useful to game developers and allows for creating large descriptor sets made up of all their combined resources and selecting those resources via dynamic indexes within a shader.

This new NVIDIA Vulkan beta driver release can be downloaded from developer.nvidia.com.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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